Notification Indicator for Submission Comments in Gradebook


I would like to suggest a notification indicator in the grade book for new submission comments. E-mail notifications are already an option but when you are physically in the grade book there is no way of knowing that a new comment has been made. When conversations are started in the grade book a new comment can be easily missed. 

Mock up screen shot of what it could look like:

A notification indicator icon displaying when a new submission comment is left and is unread by the user

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks for sharing this idea,  @amandathecarpen ‌. A related idea is (instructor comments).

Community Champion

This would significantly improve communications between instructors and students, because submission comments are easily missed by instructors.  It would also be helpful to be able add attachments.  However any attachments are currently only displayed in the speedgrader: 

Community Participant

I too have been wanting such a feature.

When students make a comment on an assignment submission - especially AFTER the assignment has been seen and graded by the instructor - the emailed notification does not seem very effective to be sure we catch all student comments made after the fact. 


It would be nice if there were some clearly visible notification in the course site/grade center: a colored icon or at least a notice in the course home page (with the list of other notices re: submissions and such).

Community Novice

I would welcome this feature.  I have missed opportunities to continue a dialogue. This would definitely be a useful enhancement.

Community Member

Greetings!  I would like to suggest that maybe a green dot (or something like that) be added into the gradebook (as an optional add-on) if a student leaves a new assignment comment.  This dot would show up next to their grade for this assignment, so that visually, it would be easy to see where there are comments that need to be responded to.  It is a lot of clicking to go to the inbox, switch the view, go back to the assignment if they are referring to it, comment, maybe add an attachment (which can't be done in the submission comments section), etc.  I love the speed grader and feel that this might streamline a little more.

Community Member

I have recently started giving, and receiving, comments in my PD Course in canvas on assignments. My Grades navigation button now shows a number next to it, even though all assignments have been graded. I finally figured out that the number now represents how many unread comments I have from my students.

I propose an indicator icon in the grades list view for which assignments have unread comments, such as what is being done with discussions (showing number of comments | number of unread comments). I am looking for a quick and easy way to find these comments on the overview page (both as the instructor and for my students).

I have over 100 students in my PD course and numerous assignments, there is no way I can review every assignment at the individual student level to find these comments made by my students.

Community Participant

This would be a great feature. The e-mail notification system is not enough. The problem with the e-mails is that the teacher will get an e-mail notification for the comments that are written when the student hands in their assignment. These comments will be read anyways when the teacher grades the assignment, so those notifications have no function, I think. 

The trouble is with the comments that come after that, when the teacher has no reason for looking at the assignment-page. Those are the comments that we need to be notified about as they tend to be unread.  

Community Participant

Even simply giving an indicator for your Inbox would work. Currently, you can find submission comments in your Canvas Inbox in the drop down menu, however there is not indicator if you receive a submission comment. You only get an indicator if you have new messages. You should get a notification for both types of messages. 

Community Member

This is a great idea I also made mention of it in my post under Comment Review 

Teachers need a way to view all comments left for an individual student per grading period at one time without having to click through every assignment. This would tremendously help our Intervention Specialist get necessary data for IEP requirements.  At this point they cannot even tell if there is a comment present because there is no indicator/icon in the gradebook. 

We can only hope Canvas is listening and sends out an update

Community Explorer

I totally agree - Please either add some sort of notification or just remove the gradebook comment feature altogether, because without a notification these comments are very difficult to find - 

A student left me an important message in the Gradebook, which I never knew about, and I even had trouble finding it after he emailed me to find out why I had not responded.

Community Member

This is an issue that needs to be addressed. The students have the notification in their "Feedback" section and also in their gradebook. Teachers do not have anything except the email. 

Community Member

When a student replies to my comment or adds a new comment to a graded assignment it would be great if the box in the grade book with that grade would change color or something happen. It would really streamline seeing new student comments. (I know I can get notifications. That's a bit clunky and one more time I have to flip between screens.)

Community Member

I also would like to see this happen.  As the instructor, I need to know if a new comment has been made by a student so that I can respond to them in a timely manner. Waiting for daily email notifications is not useful. 

Community Member

Lovely idea!!

will be great to have it;)

Community Champion

An indicator for unsubmitted (i.e. draft) comments would also be helpful for instructors.

Community Member

Agree!!  I left a comment on another thread but I would propose a carat in the upper corner of the gradebook cell that in the teacher's view, indicates that they have already left a comment for that student/assignment.  The student view already has an icon that notifies them that the teacher has left a comment.  

Community Member

It would be great if there were an icon on the item(s) in the gradebook that has a new student comment. Even if you graded it already, it could appear with a little chat icon or something like that so you can easily identify (from the gradebook area) if a student left an additional comment.

For example, as an instructor say I grade a student's work and leave a comment. Then the student checks their grade and writes a comment back. The only way I'd know they wrote an additional comment is via the email notifications. I'd prefer to look in the gradebook and see the icon where a new comment is left so I can go in directly and read it.

Community Member

Yes, PLEASE!  Comments are so valuable but easily missed.  All of these are good ideas. 

Community Explorer
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.

Status changed to: Archived